shu and joe


Published on October 10, 2007

Today’s Hansaviertel sits just north of Berlin’s Tiergarten on a site that was decimated during WW2. The 1957 Interbau competition gave international stars of modern architecture (Aalvar Aalto, Walter Gropius, Arne Jacobsen, Oscar Niemeyer, et al.) an opportunity to develop a “city of tomorrow” pretty much from scratch. The result is a collection of 36 freestanding structures, including a 1-storey U-bahn station with shops and a theater, two churches, a collection of apartment towers, several single-family homes and the low-lying Berlin exhibition pavilion, which today houses a Burger King.

The results of this planned housing project seem somewhat mixed, at least from the outside. There are some elegant structures, and some not so. The two lanes lined with one and two-storey single family homes are particularly attractive, nestled at the edge of the thick foliage of Tiergarten. My biggest complaint with the neighborhood is the same that I have with Beijing’s newer quarters: a lack of street life, complete suburbanization. The proximity to the subway and lush park environment do, however, make for a suburb that wouldn’t be too hard to call home.

Predating Jianwai Soho by about 50 years:

Not on the map, but an interesting addition to the neighborhood:

Filed under: Berlin, Travel

1 Comment

  1. yhung says:

    Shu! Are you still in Berlin? This is Yvonne from NYC– Am living literally 5 doors down from Salon Sucre. I sent an email to your woman vanishes account with my number. Give me a call!

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